Bird flu stops Bulgarian clubs going to Turkey

January 18, 2006

SOFIA, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Five Bulgarian Premier league teams have cancelled plans to schedule their traditional winter training in Turkey because of bird flu.

Turkish authorities are struggling to contain a spreading outbreak of avian influenza.

League leaders CSKA Sofia, Litex Lovech, Lokomotiv Sofia, Vihren Sandanski and Naftex Bourgas have switched their travel plans from the Mediterranean resort of Antalya.

'We have to look for new opponents now, but we cannot risk our players health,' said CSKA Sofia spokesman Atanas Karaivanov.

Three Bulgarian teams - Beroe Stara Zagora, Belasitca Petrich and second division side Haskovo - still intend to spend winter training in Turkey.